US gamers spent $15.39 billion on content in 2013

New NPD Group research shows measly 1 percent year-over-year growth for software; hardware sales rise 5 percent thanks to PS4 and Xbox One.

Gamers in the United States spent $15.39 billion on games in 2013, up a measly 1 percent from last year, according to new research published by the NPD Group this week.

Breaking down that figure, the NPD Group says gamers spent $6.34 billion on new physical and PC games, while they shelled out $1.83 billion for used games and rentals.

Meanwhile, digital content (full-game sales, DLC, subscriptions, mobile games, and social network games) took the lion's share, accounting for $7.22 billion.This strong growth for digital content helped offset an 11 percent decline in new physical sales, the NPD Group said.

Hardware was also on the rise in 2013. Thanks to the big launches of the Xbox One and PlayStation 4, hardware sales were up 5 percent compared to 2012. Combining hardware and content sales, 2013 saw a 2 percent overall increase in total consumer spending over 2012.

"The bottom line is that the overall games market is growing,” NPD Group analyst Liam Callahan said in a statement. “NPD reported declines in content and hardware spending in both 2011 and 2012, so the growth in 2013 is a positive indicator for future market growth as we enter the first full year with all three new consoles on the market.”

The NPD Group will release its report for January 2014 tomorrow evening.

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Eddie Makuch

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and would like to see the Whalers return to Hartford.
30 comments
spikepigeo
spikepigeo

Did I really spend that much? I mean, I know I bought quite a few games, but damn. I'd be rich If I just kicked the habit.

guardianofhonor
guardianofhonor

They are cutting content out of games to resell, should be a class action lawsuit against them becuase that is illegal. You cant sell sombody a product under the pretense that is the complete product only for them to get home and find out half requires an additional purchase. Thats like selling a book with half the pages missing.

NoSoul81
NoSoul81

I accounted for 25% of that my bad.

GOGOHeadray
GOGOHeadray

lls; I thought the used games industry was killing off video games??!!

Barighm
Barighm

Holy cow! Where's all the people who say they will never buy digital? I thought we were all in this together. DLC and digital releases now make up something like 60% of all sales.

nl_skipper
nl_skipper

Oh boo-hoo a measly 1% growth on over $15 Billion, what a hard year it has been.

SingletreeAve
SingletreeAve

Is that the wording in the official report: "up a measly one percent"?

pyro1245
pyro1245

woo lets get to $20bil in 2014! 

nurnberg
nurnberg

Hopefully that will shut up the idiots who claim that "gaming is dead".  It is growing.

Aelfredus
Aelfredus

2013 was also the year I spent most money on gaming. I upgraded my PC and bought games on Steam. Great year.

Xx_DemonSoul_xX
Xx_DemonSoul_xX

 EA Emperor Palpatine says: "Everything is proceeding as I have foreseen.. Mwa Ha Ha Ha"

leonhart311
leonhart311

This is what think its crazy on DLC content. sorry im an old school gamer. games used to come out and have everything on it. If they felt they needed to add more they made a new game. thats like saying if mario bro's came out today u would have bought the game and u beat the game but only got really half way though the game because if you wanted to save the princess you needed to spend more money on the DLC to get the extra levels. this is whats wrong with gaming. DLC is making it so we spend almost $100 on one single game. dont think this is true, well call of duty makes you pay 60 for the game and 50 for all the DLC they plan to release, its actually more if you dont spend the 50 up front. thats $110 for a year of game play. Battlefield 4 was a broken game when it launched and before it was even fixed they put out their 1st DLC. are you kidding me?! this happens in every game now and is ridiculous.

Only way for this to stop is for the gaming community to stop it by not buying DLC content and make game developers put all content in games. We have PS4 and Xbox ones now that have Blu ray disc. i think we can put all content on these disc. but this is one persons thoughts and ideas, If you feel the same stop buying DLC content and let the developers know how you feel.

leonhart311
leonhart311

@DrizztDark ya ill agree some is worth is but ill say most like your CODs and many others personally feel its a waste. Games like Skyrim and such that add content to me are acceptable when it actually has substance to it. when you add hours of extra game play and takes a while to produce i can see myself buying them. when i hear that a game has 2-4 DLC packages prep and ready to roll out and they put it out every couple months to me its a sham and when they could push a game back a month or 2 and just add it to the disc content. I think prob 75% of most DLC is worthless and could have been added to the disc.

DrizztDark
DrizztDark

Sorry man. I'm a old school gamer too and if a company wants to produce content over the course of years to come, which cost them money to make then I'm gonna purchase if it looks like something I want to play.. Yes some dlc is bullshit/ripoff but some dlc is really worth the money too...

spartanx169x
spartanx169x

I spent $400 on software and roughly $1,300 on hardware.

DrizztDark
DrizztDark

Same. I bought both xboxone and a ps4. Bout to up grade my pc again too even thought it doesn't really need it too bad... I just like spenting money on gaming

khuzko
khuzko

Xbots love wasting money

ninjaroach81
ninjaroach81

@khuzko So, are you trying to imply that not a single dollar was spent on content for Sony or Nintendo platforms?

raingamer011
raingamer011

Lol, than Gamers have the nerve to complain :p